24.02.18. Birdlog.

Stepping out to some glorious blue skies on a weekend birding day is something that hasn’t happened much this year. There was a keen brisk cold south-easterly sweeping across the marshes today.

A look across the open water on No.6 tank saw the c200 cowering Shoveler sheltering from the cold (pussies) wind, the 40 Common Pochard were much braver occupying the middle area with a few Tufties and c100 Common Shelduck. The Common Teal flock were bunched up along the western edge of the water with just the 2 Pintail present. There were more Shoveler, Tufted Duck and Common Teal on both the Canal Pools and the mitigation pools on No.3 tank with 50 Coot.

A look over the flooded fields of Lordship Marsh revealed two Water Pipit with a Stonechat on the fence line, numerous Meadow Pipit, Linnet and Pied Wagtail were also present.

The distant fields had just 15 (5 juvenile) Whooper  and a solitary Bewick’s Swan. The first 3 Ringed Plover of the year have returned to the marshes.

A look across Frodsham Score and the Mersey salt marshes where a big flock of c1000 Pink-footed Goose seeking sanctuary after the shooting season  ceased last week. There were still small skeins of pinkies waffling in as I was leaving.

A Great White Egret popped out of a tidal gutter long enough for me to grab a photo. There were a few Little Egret but they kept further out by the river’s edge. A large murmuration of several thousand Dunlin could be seen over the mudflats.

The Raven parties are really enjoying the lambing season with many birds clearing up the still borns and dead ewes. The perfect recycling machine and much better than throwing carcasses into a landfill. A female Marsh Harrier drifted over from Hale and was joined by another high over No.6 tank.

The Weaver estuary had 20 Goldeneye.

A second look over No.6 produced an increase in Shoveler and adjacent to the sludge tank on No.5 was the first Golden Plover showing their summer plumage.

A selection of images from the marsh today.

Observers: Alyn Chambers, WSM (images 1-13).

I walked around No.6 this evening as the sun went down. Shoveler, Common Teal. Tufted Duck, Mallard and Common Shelduck were all accountered for. A roost of Lapwing, 30 Redshank and a few Ruff were noted.

A couple of Marsh Harrier over the reed beds with one tatty looking individual which looked very much like a bird from Woolston Eyes NR seen earlier today per D Bowman.  Numeorus Raven were passing overhead on there way to their welsh roost.

A small number of Fieldfare went to roost in the silver birches on 6.  The Whooper Swan herd increased from earlier with c21 seen by the blue slurry tank as I made my way off the marsh through Helsby.

The juvenile Mute Swan that has been in the gutter alongside Moorditch Lane had shifted position to a ditch along Lordship lane.

Observer: Paul Ralston (images 14-18).